The City and Kingman Regional Medical Center have reached the finish line in approving the development agreement for the funding and construction of the Kingman Crossing traffic interchange, and KRMC CEO Brian Turney and Mayor Monica Gates say the project will provide new opportunities for the hospital and the City of Kingman.
Speaking at the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner Thursday, Turney and Gates said the Kingman Crossing project is coming together, but that important considerations remain. Gates said the City should know when the development agreement will go before Council by this week.
“I’m so excited to be able to share with you the development agreement that I think is the most fair and equitable not just to the City of Kingman and to the hospital, but to the rest of us,” Gates said of the agreement being in the final stages of approval.
At its April 3 meeting, Council gave Jim Bacon, former interim city manager, approval to work with KRMC in preparing a development agreement for the design and construction of the Kingman Crossing interchange, which is expected to cost about $20 million.
Under the proposed agreement, design and construction of the interchange would fall to KRMC and its developer, The Ault Companies. The companies would also pay for constructing Kingman Crossing Boulevard from the interchange to Southern Avenue, but that contribution would not exceed $3 million.
Turney highlighted that sales tax revenues from areas surrounding the interchange’s location would be shared for 20 years or until the companies made their money back in the full amount of their contribution. He reiterated that the sharing of those revenues are capped and would not be forever. The sharing of revenues means Kingman’s taxpayers will not be burdened by the project.
“Most importantly, this development agreement will not put a financial burden on the taxpayers of our community,” Gates said. “This is going to be new sales tax revenue, new opportunity for new businesses, new entertainment, new eateries, and we’ll have that freeway access that will really expand that sales tax base.”
Turney commented on that tax base, saying that it is what the hospital is counting on in agreeing to fund the interchange. He said that more than 80 percent of patients at the hospital are governmental payers or are without insurance. Turney said the hospital needs to consider other sources of revenue to help it remain financially viable.
“Looking at the tea leaves, we need to do things that will help the community grow and bring in other kinds of industry that are private in nature, not necessarily governmental in nature, and at the same time bring additional resources in for us as an institution,” he said.
Turney said the growth of the community and its industries will help provide the hospital with resources it needs to expand its services and attract good physicians. He and the hospital believe Kingman Crossing will promote that growth.
Turney noted that within five miles of KRMC’s Hualapai campus there are 44,000 people, 49,000 within 10 miles, 65,000 within 20 miles, 136,000 within a 40 mile radius and 211,000 in a 60 miles radius. He said those are numbers potential businesses will be looking at when considering coming to the area of the interchange.
Getting a big-box retailer, what Turney described as an anchor tenant, to set up shop is one of the crucial steps left in the project.
After speaking with The Ault Companies, Turney said progress is being made on that front.
“The small-box stores and things that tend to do well off of freeways, they’re all highly interested in this as well as some hotel chains,” he said. “There is strong interest from certain levels, the big challenge is getting that big box or two.”
In discussing business attraction with Ron Ault, senior development manager with The Ault Companies, Turney said the interest is there because companies feel that Kingman could be the commercial center of Mohave County.
“It’s not that things aren’t happening in Bullhead and not happening in Lake Havasu City, but when you look at I-11, you look at the traffic, and then you look at the transportation and all of those things together and the potential for growth, Kingman is actually more under-retailed right now than those other cities,” Turney said. “So they actually think the prognosis long term is more positive for Kingman than for some of these other communities.”